Home > Unreal > Rebuild World > Chapter 142: Shizukas worry

Rebuild World Chapter 142: Shizukas worry

Author:Hikoukai Category:Unreal Update time:2022-09-12 22:55:46

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Sheryl took an information terminal from her desk, it was the information terminal that Akira left there the other day.

“Im returning this. It is a hard game, but it was interesting. Thank you very much.”

Sheryl gave her impression about the game and returned the information terminal back to Akira. It was indeed just a game, but it was also a relic hunting simulation based on Akiras real skill, a training tool using a top-down simulation. Akira lent that to Sheryl since it seemed she was interested in it yesterday.

When he heard that Sheryl also thought that it was a difficult game, Akira made a troubled face and said.

“…Yeah, youre right, its really a difficult game.”

Saying that the game was hard was similar to saying that Akiras skill that was reflected onto the main character in the game was still way too underdeveloped. Although Akira himself understood that very well, it still hurt him a bit when he was reminded of it.

[Its true that I still have a long way to go. I guess I have no other choice but to get better equipment, train myself up, and gather more experience, huh.]

Sheryl thought that it was simply a game. That was why she did not think much about it as she said to Akira.

“Yes, it was an interesting but difficult game. It took me some time before I could clear it.”

“Eh!”

Akira was taken aback by what Sheryl said. Sheryl was also surprised by Akiras reaction.

Akira was so dumbfounded that he could only react awkwardly.

“You… Cleared it”

“Y-yes.”

Sheryl, who saw that, replied back awkwardly too. It was indeed a difficult game, but there was no reason for Akira to be that surprised, at least that was what she thought since she did not know anything more than that.

Akira opened the menu to check the previous play sessions of the game. He was so surprised that he was not able to nimbly navigate through the menus, so instead Alpha took over and quickly brought up the history menu.

Alpha scanned the history list and said.

“Yep, she did clear it, the score is turned to a plus.”

It was really surprising for Akira.

“…So it was really possible to clear it with that difficulty, huh”

Alpha smiled and faked a pout.

“Oh my, did you really think that I would set it to a difficulty that you cant clear”

“W-well, I didnt mean it like that.”

Akira flusteredly said that it was not true, but somewhere deep inside his heart, he really thought so, after all, it was really difficult.

But now that he knew it was possible to clear it in that difficulty, it made him wonder how to do it, and the person who could answer that question was right in front of him now.

Akira pushed the information terminal that he just received back to Sheryl.

“Sheryl, can you try to clear it again”

“Sure.”

Sheryl found Akiras sudden mood change to a more serious one rather weird, but then, she replied with a smile.

Sheryl sat on the sofa and played the game to clear it one more time, Akira sat next to her, he had his eyes fixed on the information terminal on Sheryls hand. Sheryl had once sat on Akiras lap while facing in his direction, so Akira thought that she would not mind him getting that close and prioritized more on a position where he could comfortably look at the information terminal.

But Akiras guess was wrong, Sheryl actually was a bit bothered by that. She continued playing the game while holding back her embarrassment and delight. For Sheryl, who thought that she overdid it the other day, Akira was too close this time. And it was not Sheryl who took the initiative, it was Akira, and that fact alone made her face glow with happiness.

[Close, way too close.]

In order so that he could get a good look on the monitor, Akira tried to line up his vision with Sheryls, so of course, Akira put his face close to Sheryls. Since they did not cover anything from their neck up, they were close enough to feel each others skin warmth.

If Sheryl said that Akira was making it more difficult to play the game, or even if Sheryl showed any sign that she was bothered, Akira would normally get some distance. She tried her best not to show it while continuing to play the game in silence as her cheeks went slightly reddish.

Fortunately, the game did not need Sheryls continuous attention or any time-sensitive actions. So even if she was a bit in disarray, it did not affect her performance in the game, she just needed to be extra careful and take extra time before making any decisions. Following that, the Akira in the game started to slowly and carefully explore the old-world ruin.

The reason why the Akira in the game could make dangerous moves as if he could read the future was simply because Sheryl had cleared that game a few times, so she knew what would come afterwards. Of course, it was not something that she could overcome only by knowing that it was coming, but if she knew what she would face, it would help her overcome that danger.

Akira closely observed the movements of the Akira inside that game and asked Alpha a question.

“As I thought, even if you know that its coming, its still not easy.”

Alpha mischievously smiled and replied.

“So in short, it means that even if you have the ability to read the future, its still a difficult thing to return back alive from the dangerous old-world ruin.”

Akira got dejected. He understood and completely agreed with what Alpha said, he also knew well that he should not feel prideful about his skill nor belittle whatever he faced. But still, it was discouraging to get reminded of that.

Now then, putting aside the real Akira, the Akira in the game did not find much trouble exploring the ruin. Eventually, he got some relics and left the ruin. The ammo and medicines that he used during the exploration, his wounds, the time that he took to explore the ruin, and the number of relics that he brought back, all of them were translated into his score. The black-coloured score points showed that he ended up with a positive score, and with that, Sheryl cleared the game.

Akira who saw that Sheryl cleared the game casually complimented her.

“Thats impressive!”

Sheryl blushed.

“Thank you very much.”

Sheryl glanced at Akira, it seemed that his mood had considerably turned for the better.

[It seems that Akira has been completely cheered up. Is he really that interested in this game I guess Ill put in some effort to investigate about this game later.]

Sheryl thought that she should look about that game in the network later. But sadly enough, that game was made by Alpha, so there was no information about that game that she could find in the network.

Sheryl was about to return back the information terminal to Akira, but Akira stopped her.

“Im lending that to you, so you can use it for the time being.”

“Are you sure It looks like an expensive information terminal though.”

“Yeah, you can use it as your usual information terminal. Ive also changed its provider from the free provider, so you should be able to reach me even when the line is busy. Well, what can I say… You can just think of it as a reward for clearing that game… And also, if you have the time, you can play that game and aim for a higher score.”

“I understand, Ill hold on to it dearly… If I can get a better score, can I get a better reward next time”

“It depends on the score.”

Sheryl was joking when she said that and Akira replied while giving Sheryl a smile.

Akira then left Sheryls base. The sun was about to set, the slum city slowly but surely blanketed in darkness. But it was not like the slum city would be covered in total darkness once the sun was out. As people had created lights to help their lives, there would be some places that would radiate light. But even so, it did not change the fact that the slum city would get more dangerous once the night fell compared to when it was in the middle of the day. When the light that illuminated the world was gone, those who hid under the shadows would start to make their moves.

Akira was walking through the slum city at that moment when the world shifted from light to darkness.

He was walking while talking with Alpha.

“I wonder if I can explore the old-world ruin without your support if I can clear that game.”

The Akira in that game was the reflection of his real skill. So what he said was not exactly wrong.

Alpha smiled smugly and said.

“Of course, that is if you can easily clear that game. But in that case, youll have to make decisions in an instant, you have no way to know the position of your enemies beforehand, your life will be over if you make even a single mistake, basically, it would be a one-try only game with no chance of retry, you sure you want to give it a try”

“No thanks.”

Akiras answer was swift and instantaneous. If that games difficulty level was increased to be as close to reality as possible, that would be the kind of game that he would play. And of course, the real world would be even more difficult than that.

Alpha then continued with her smug smile.

“Just to let you know, I do all kinds of things to support you during your Hunter work. And thats including giving you instructions to make sure that you wont get killed, refining your movements by controlling your augmented suit, and many other things too.”

Alpha was still smiling mischievously at Akira and he returned with a wry smile.

“Thank you for all your help.”

“Youre very welcome.”

Alpha smiled satisfied after hearing the words that she was waiting for.

Akira suddenly grabbed the hand of the man next to him, and that man had Akiras wallet in his hand.

Akiras face twitched out of anger as he mumbled.

“…Again, huh”

Akira took back his wallet and kicked that man, he made sure to hold back so as not to kill that man.

That man was also aiming for Akira after he got the information from the information broker. But the information that man gave to Akira was different compared to the last one.

This time the rumour said that Akira was a kind Hunter who let go of the girl who stole his wallet since she was just a little girl. So even if that man got caught, Akira would just forgive him if he apologized. That man trusted that information and went for Akira.

The reason why Akira backed off when that young girl stole his wallet was just because he had no other choice when the Hunters backing that girl confronted him. He lightly threatened that man and told him to tell the information broker what he just said there.

Akira kicked that man 3 times before he let that man go, so that man dragged himself in pain and somehow managed to leave that place.

This time, Akira did not share his medicine. When he kicked that man, he had no plans to kill that man but he did not care if that man died. If that man was unlucky, he would die before he could convey Akiras message to the information broker.

The reason why Akira let him go was because he did not try to shoot Akira when Akira caught him. Had he aimed his gun at Akira, Akira would have killed that man.

He was livid, but he was still able to think calmly. Akira did not lose his cool like last time, the fact that he was able to prevent his wallet from getting stolen twice with his own skill helped him to calm down.

Akira suddenly asked Alpha a question.

“Alpha, do I look like an easy target to them”

“No idea, but at least, you dont seem like a veteran Hunter.”

“Well, I know that too, but still…”

Akira seemed to be slightly dejected. Alpha then made some remarks about another thing unrelated to his outlook.

“Rather than your outlook, I think the main reason is the fact that an information broker is selling info about what happened back there. Youre just a boy, the pickpocket was just a girl, 100,000 Aurum is a rather big sum of money for those in the slums. You were able to catch her, but, leaving the reason aside, you couldnt get your money back. If you look from that point of view, its understandable that people easily misunderstand your real skill. Since you are seen as just a mere child, the information about you would be quite cheap. Especially if the ones spreading it believe that you are incapable of retaliating. So, those that are seeking a target would most likely end up buying information about you.”

“…What a pain in the neck!”

Not only the people who bought it from the information brokers but the fact was that this info must have spread across slum city as rumour by now. A lot of people would be preying on Akira from here and on out. At least, until the rumour died down naturally or something happened that overwrote it.

Akira exasperatedly sighed.

Shizuka closed her shop at a prefixed time every day. The private security company that she was in contract with also recommended her to do so. Although her shop was located in the lower district where it was relatively safe, once the night fell, the area would still become dangerous. Both for the sake of her own safety, as well as to lessen the work needed to be done by the private security company responsible for the area, it was important to close the shop during the night.

When Shizuka was about to close the door, Akira suddenly appeared.

“Is the shop already closed for today”

Shizuka noticed Akira and threw him a smile.

“Hm Dont worry, come in.”

“…Is it really okay”

Akira looked a bit apologetic, Shizuka smiled teasingly at Akira and said to him.

“Of course, its important to hold dearly the candidate with the potential to become regulars of my shop.”

“Thank you very much!”

Akira said his thanks and entered the shop, Shizuka then closed the door after he went in.

There was no one else inside the shop, only Akira and Shizuka. Putting Akira aside, it was a situation where it could be said that Shizuka was a bit too careless, but she decided to trust her intuition and thought that it should be alright. It was not like she would allow just anyone to enter her shop after she closed it.

Shizuka returned to the counter and started talking to Akira.

“Are you here for ammo again Or are you planning to buy rifles today Is it okay if I get my hopes up”

“I actually have something I want to ask… Shizuka-san”

Akira noticed that Shizuka was staring at him.

Shizuka fixed her gaze at Akira, she looked straight into his eyes as if she was trying to see through him. Akira was not that bothered by it, but he still found that a bit weird. He could not understand why she was doing that, so he awkwardly tried to say something.

“U-Uhmm…”

“Akira, did something happen”

Before Akira could say anything, Shizuka suddenly asked Akira a question while still staring at him. With that question, it felt like Shizuka was able to see through him. Akira seemed to feel a bit troubled as if his bad side just got discovered by Shizuka. He then proceeded to try to avoid that subject for some reason that he himself did not understand.

“Well, its not really something bad… Its just that someone tried to steal my wallet, ah, but I was able to prevent it. But yes, it still leaves a bad aftertaste.”

“…I see.”

Shizuka approached Akira and gently hugged him. Akiras head was pressed against Shizukas chest and was buried in her bosom.

“…Shizuka-san”

“Just let me do this.”

Akira was troubled by it, but once Shizuka told him so, he stopped fighting back and just let her hug him.

Shizuka seemed to be thinking about what to say to Akira while still hugging him. Her expression was saying that she found some words to say to Akira, then decided they were not the right words, and tried to look for something else to say.

After she gathered all of her experience until now and combined it with her intuition, she then proceeded to convey those words to Akira who was still hugged tightly.

“Im sorry if I get this wrong, youve grown to be pretty strong as a Hunter, you now can do things that you couldnt before, so Im sure that you have things youre worried about related to that… and Im sure that you have a lot in your mind too about that matter. Im sure you dont need to worry about it if you decide to stop caring about it, but before you do that, you should at least share it with someone… You can share your worry with me, it might lighten your burden if you do so, you know

Shizuka then put her hand on Akiras head and lightly patted him.

Akira did not say anything as he let Shizuka hug him. When she said those words to Akira gently, his arms moved slightly to hug her back, but he stopped his arms midway. Right after that, Shizuka released Akira from her hug.

Akira took a step back, lightly bowed with a smile, and thanked Shizuka.

“Thank you very much, I think that helped me.”

Shizuka smiled at Akira, she seemed relieved.

“Im glad to hear that, If you have anything you want to talk about, you can always talk to me. After all, although I look like this, I have more living experience than you, so I think I can give you some advice, and even if I cant give you any advice, I can at least listen to your complaints.”

In reality, Akira did feel much better. Now that he had regained his calmness, Akira smiled and thought of something that was not really that important. It was true that Shizuka was a beautiful young girl, but of course, there was no way she was in the same age group as him, so Akira thought thatalthough I look like this line was not necessary there.

Shizuka noticed that thanks to her sharp intuition and that made her smile even more.

“You just thought that there is no need for me to sayalthough I look like this, right”

Akira did not say anything back, he just replied with a smile, which was a bit awkward.

Shizuka could somehow sense that the dark emotion that was welling deep from inside Akira had mostly vanished. Shizuka felt relieved after confirming that. But she did not show that in her face when she said to Akira.

“So then, you want to ask me something, right What is it”

Akira hesitated and sounded rather unsure.

“Ah, yes, right, I actually want to ask some questions about equipment, so I just thought if I can get your opinions… It would be a great help if you can give me an estimation of what is the best equipment that I can get with my current budget… Like an augmented suit, or rifle, or information terminal. It would be great if you can give me some recommendations, ah, but this time, Im not thinking of getting new vehicles.”

“Sure, I dont mind, so then, how much is your budget this time.”

Shizuka smiled at Akira as she asked him that question, Akira hesitated before answering back.

“…Uhm, its about 4 hundred million Aurum.”

Shizuka continued smiling at Akira without saying anything. Akira, who saw that, started trying to make excuses with an awkward smile.

“No, its not like what you think it is. Its true that I did pretty reckless things. But I wasnt alone, I was with Elena-san and Sara-san when that happened, so its not like I did some dangerous stuff out of my own volition, things happened and I had no other choice. So, uhmm, back then in Mihazono ruin, something unexpected happened, something that even Elena-san couldnt predict, so under Elena-sans order, we all tried our best, so…”

Shizuka was still smiling without saying anything when Akira desperately explained what happened.

The reward from the request that they had accomplished in the Mihazono ruin with the other Hunters was 5 hundred million Aurum. They then got extra money from the insurance company too as well as an extra reward as the reconnaissance team that went to Seranthal building ahead of the main team.

All requests that had something to do with the City Management had a ton of rewards. Then to top it off, Elena and Carol worked together during their negotiation with the City Management and Drankam. The information about the interior of the Seranthal building was also highly valued, and their success in rescuing Reinas group added a big plus to their evaluation as well as to the amount of rewards they received.

So in total, they received 3 billion Aurum, which meant 5 hundred million Aurum for each person. Of course, there were expenses for their ammunition and other expendables too, but the City Management side also reimbursed them for that expense. Not all of them thought that it was worth all the trouble that they faced back in the Mihazono ruin, but at least, for Akira, that reward was big enough.

Shizuka was still smiling at Akira, who was desperately making excuses, but she then suddenly sighed and said to Akira with a smile.

“Dont worry. I heard from Elena and Sara too. So I more or less know what happened and Im not angry at you.”

“I-I see.”

Akira sighed in relief. Even for him, it was not an easy thing to try to explain to someone, whom he had promised not to do anything reckless, as to why he broke his promise and did something reckless.

Shizuka looked slightly apologetic as she gently smiled at Akira.

“Im sorry for doing something weird there. But if youve done something that you actually dont want me to know, then at least keep in mind that it was something substantial that you did. Its good to be proud of some extraordinary feat that youve done, you know. But that doesnt mean that it would be okay for you to do that again, okay Theres a small line that divides between getting used to dangers and belittling dangers, alright”

Akira gave a firm nod.

“I understand.”

Looking at that, Shizuka smiled satisfied. She then changed the mood and asked Akira a question.

“Putting that aside, Im really happy that you came here to ask for my opinion, but are you sure youre okay with spending that much money”

Akira found that question a bit weird.

“Uhhh, is there something bad about spending that much money I got quite a lot of money from that request in Mihazono ruin, so I thought that I should spend that much money for my equipment while I still have the chance…”

“That line of thinking is really good. Its true that investing in your equipment is really important. But you can use it for something else too, like maybe to get better living quality for example. Like a better house or better clothing, or maybe use it for your own hobby. Since you got quite a lot of money this time, I think its a good idea to take a rest for a while, you know. Theres no need for you to rush yourself to get stronger, right”

Akira thought for a bit.

“Getting better living quality, huh… To be honest, at the moment, I have no wish to spend my money on something like that though. Since Ive been sleeping in the back alley of the slum city until recently, compared to that, my current daily life is like heaven though. So I have no complaints about my current living condition. I guess I wont spend any of my money on that kind of thing until I find something lacking in my daily life.”

When Akira said that, Shizuka had a sad expression although only for a split second, she immediately hid that expression and replaced it with her usual smile.

“In that case, then theres no problem. But still, 4 hundred million for equipment, huh. It seems that youve grown so much. Its 4 hundred million Aurum, you know Even I am surprised when you say that! Does it not make you feel anything”

Akira smiled bitterly and replied.

“To be honest, that number is so big that it still doesnt feel real to me yet. So I thought before it corrupts me or before I spend it on unnecessary things, I should spend it on my equipment first.”

“Thats a good idea. As a shop owner, Im really happy with your plan.”

They then spent some time talking about what to buy. It was 4 hundred million Aurum, after all, Shizuka needed to make sure what kind of equipment Akira wanted to get before deciding on what to buy. The reason why Akira did not use his last 1 hundred million Aurum was because he was planning to use it to get a check-up in the hospital as well as for emergency saving. He did a lot of dangerous things this time, so it was just to be safe in case his medical bill cost him 60,000,000 again.

After Akira finished his consultation with Shizuka, she asked him a question.

“As I thought, its important to carefully think about it when youre about to spend 4 hundred million Aurum. Not to mention that itll take some time before the ordered articles arrive. So, are you okay with that”

“Of course. Im also planning to stay inside the city until I get my new equipment.”

“Alright then. Ill give my best to help you since youre a prime candidate as a regular.”

Akira pouted for a bit, it was rather rare for him to make that face.

“Candidate, huh… Im pretty sure Ive contributed quite a lot to this shops sale though, is it still not enough”

Shizuka smiled and replied with a serious expression.

“Thats not the problem.”

“Eh”

“Being a regular means that youll come to this shop regularly. So you dont count when you get injured or killed and cant come regularly to this shop.”

Akiras expression changed. Shizuka was basically telling him to always come back alive, to make sure not to get injured too much that he could not continue his work as a Hunter, and to put extra effort in doing so. Akira finally understood that. It was true that he always did dangerous stuff when he went out to the wasteland, if he could not make sure to come back alive anytime he went out, then there was no way he could be a regular to Shizukas shop.

Shizuka smiled at Akira and said to him.

“So please make sure to properly be a regular to my shop, okay”

Akira made his resolve and firmly replied.

“…Yes.”

Shizuka smiled satisfied seeing Akira had made his resolve.

After Shizuka closed the shop and finished tidying up, she sat on the counter and sighed. Akira had already gone back home and there were no customers left inside the shop. The shop was dead silent, so her sighing echoed and could be heard clearly.

Shizuka was deep in thought about Akira.

“…To be honest, its a not good thing to get too invested on a particular customer though.”

Shizuka already knew that well, but she still mumbled there as if to confirm it. She then remembered about Akira and made a troubled look.

“So he caught someone who tried to steal his wallet huh… I wonder what he did to the person that he caught.”

Rifles were freely traded in the lower district. The only difference between robbers and pickpocket was whether they pointed their guns at you when they took your belongings. The people that Akira caught were likely to be armed, so it would not be strange at all if Akira killed them.

Akira was no longer on the receiving end, if he wanted to, he could easily join the other side.

The question was once he got enough power to get back on those people who robbed him, could he fight back the temptation of getting his revenge on those people.

It was a difficult question. After all, the fastest way to make sure that he was no longer on the receiving end and to attain the sense of safety and superiority that came with it was to join the other side. Simply put, it was to be one of those people that he hated so much.

For those people who decided to join the other side, their end was mostly the same. They get used to abusing their power and it corrupts them. They then have to fight those who have the same level of power and try to replace their positions. They would need to fight those who were in front as well as those from behind, trying to stab them in the back. The one who survived after all the chaos would stand on the peak, on top of those people who looked at them in awe and fear, on top of the countless corpses.

When Akira said to Shizuka he planned to splurge his money for equipment, Shizuka thought that he was aiming for more power. But she was really glad that it was nothing but unnecessary worry.

Shizuka actually wanted Akira to have other options and for him not to unnecessarily make enemies. After all, in this world where there were already plenty of enemies, it was the secret to long survival.

But the one to decide was Akira, not her. She can hope but she can not force Akira. After all, she has no right to do so.

But even so, it should be fine for her to have hope. As Shizuka thought so, she then mumbled.

“…If its possible, I wish Akira can properly be a regular at my shop. As the owner of a shop and a Hunter who is properly earning money, I really wish we can get along for a long time… Even if hes not earning that much.”

Shizuka once again noticed that she was too invested in Akira as she sighed.-

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